Read all posts from September 2011

  • Here’s what happened this week on

    LinkedIn Town Hall: On Monday, President Obama participated in a live Town Hall meeting with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, out in Silicon Valley, California. Taking questions from the audience and online submissions, the President talked about the American Jobs Act and how it will create jobs and boost the overall economy.

    Ending Violence Against Women: Vice President Biden travelled to New York City Tuesday to sit down with the women of The View. The main topic of discussion was his campaign to end violence against women and his current initiative to reduce domestic abuse among younger Americans. The Vice President told the ladies that the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 is his proudest legislative achievement, and that it has decreased domestic violence by over 50% since being signed into law.

    ‘Set your Sights High’: The President welcomed students back to school in his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Admitting that he was not a perfect student himself, he explained that doing well in school carries weight beyond college admissions. “Because you’re not just kids. You’re this country’s future. You’re young leaders. And whether we fall behind or race ahead as a nation is going to depend in large part on you.”

    President Barack Obama with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School Speech

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Sept. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Michael Strautmanis family

    Micahel Strautmanis, his wife and their three children

    Every single day, I am proud and awed to be working for our President. But, some days simply take the cake. Just a few short months ago, I had a couple of those days. On April 1st, President Obama issued the first ever Presidential Proclamation to mark World Autism Awareness Day. Later that month, I had another special moment when Valerie Jarrett and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the President and his administration fully supported reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act (CAA).  As a father of a child on the autism spectrum, these were extraordinarily meaningful moments to me. 

    Today, President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the CAA. I was once again reminded of the honor that it is to be working for a President who gets it -- he knows that persons on the autism spectrum are at the heart of this issue. 

    Nearly one percent of American children are on the Autism Spectrum, and this reauthorization continues important investments in research, early detection and support and services for both children and adults. Without it, critical research would have been severely hindered and in some cases halted. Millions of persons on the Autism Spectrum would have been deprived of the potential breakthroughs resulting from valuable research, and of the chance to live independent and productive lives. 

  • In September 2009, the President announced that – for the first time in history – White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis.  Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in June 2011.  Today’s release also includes several visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in August 2011 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy.  This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to nearly 1.7 million records—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

    Ed. Note: For more information, check out

  • President Barack Obama at the “Change of Office” Ceremony

    President Barack Obama, second from right, participates in the Armed Forces farewell tribute to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, right, at the “Change of Office” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff swearing-in ceremony for Gen. Martin Dempsey, left, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., Sept. 30, 2011. Also taking part in the ceremony were Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, second from right, and Vice President Joe Biden, center. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama today welcomed Army General Martin Dempsey as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he honored the outgoing Chairman, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, and thanked him for his four years of extraordinary service in that role and his four decades in uniform.

    The President was attending the "Change of Office" Staff Ceremony, where he paid tribute to Mullen’s illustrious career and highlighted many of his accomplishments in office, saying that “our military is stronger and our nation is more secure because of the service that you have rendered.”   

    Today, we have renewed American leadership in the world. We’ve strengthened our alliances, including NATO. We’re leading again in Asia. And we forged a new treaty with Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenals. And every American can be grateful to Admiral Mullen -- as am I -- for his critical role in each of these achievements, which will enhance our national security for decades to come. 

    Today, we see the remarkable achievements of our 9/11 generation of service members. They’ve given Iraqis a chance to determine their own future. They’ve pushed the Taliban out of their Afghan strongholds and finally put al Qaeda on the path to defeat. Meanwhile, our forces have responded to sudden crises with compassion, as in Haiti, and with precision, as in Libya. And it will be long remembered that our troops met these tests on Admiral Mullen’s watch and under his leadership. 

  • Today, I had the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to meet with local business leaders and workers to discuss how President Obama’s new jobs proposal – the American Jobs Act – will put more Pennsylvanians back to work now.  During my trip, I joined Mayor Michael Nutter for a visit to Superfit, Inc., a jewelry manufacturer in downtown Philadelphia. I then hosted a meeting of the White House Business Council in the Mayor’s office in City Hall.  

    Superfit, Inc., which is owned and operated by Gena Alulis, manufactures and distributes custom rings to the worldwide jewelry market.  Founded in 1992, the firm's unique product features a hinged design that allows the ring to open and close easily, safely, and securely.  Ms. Alulis led me on a tour of Superfit’s factory and I saw firsthand the production of this great American product.  I learned during the tour that Superfit recently relocated its headquarters to downtown Philadelphia, where the company was able to expand production and hire additional employees.  The American Jobs Act will provide a small business tax cut to Ms. Alulis, which will allow her to bring on even more workers.  I also learned that Superfit currently exports to several countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada.  At USTR we are working to open markets around the world through the President's National Export Initiative so businesses like Superfit can increase exports.

    After my visit to Superfit, local government and business leaders joined me for a White House Business Council meeting at Philadelphia’s historic City Hall. During the meeting, I had a very productive dialogue with about two dozen local business and community leaders. I discussed how the American Jobs Act will put workers in the Keystone State back to work, and help hard-working families in these difficult economic times. I spoke with them about all the ways the American Jobs Act, if passed by Congress, will benefit their businesses, workers, and families.    

    For example, the American Jobs Act will cut taxes to help an estimated 230,000 Pennsylvania businesses – like Superfit – hire and grow. It will provide hard-working Pennsylvania families with a payroll tax cut that will save them an average of $1,500 a year. The American Jobs Act will invest at least $1.3 billion to help put thousands of Philadelphia-area construction workers back to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools.   

    Additionally, the American Jobs Act will send $1.1 billion to Pennsylvania state and local governments to prevent layoffs and support up to 14,400 teachers, police, firefighters, and first responders – which, as Mayor Nutter will tell you, will provide a much-needed boost for Philadelphia right now. It also extends unemployment benefits to help Pennsylvanians looking for work continue to support their families. And the American Jobs Act is fully paid for. It won’t add a dime to the federal deficit. 

    As the President says frequently, “the purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.”  That’s exactly what it will do for workers in the City of Brotherly Love.

    See how America's mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities

    See how other American mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities

    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
    Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
    Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky
    Mayor Sly James of Kansas City
    Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona

  • Vice President Biden on The View

    Vice President Joe Biden appears on The View, in New York City, NY. Sep. 27, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) September 27, 2011.

    On September 27, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden appeared on The View to discuss the work he has done to end violence against women and his current initiative to reduce youth violence.

    Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, a bill the Vice President refers to as his proudest legislative achievement, rates of domestic violence have dropped by over 50%. However, rates of violence against young women continue to remain alarmingly high, with 16-24 year olds experiencing the highest rates of rape, sexual assault and dating violence.

  • Phil Gordon, the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona believes the American Jobs Act should be passed today. "We can’t afford to keep waiting. And the politics that are being played not only in Washington, DC, but across the country are just devastating our nation, our cities. And it’s important not only to put people back to work but to train them for the 21st century."

    He is pleading with Congress – Republicans and Democrats – to pass the American Jobs Act “right away.”

    “Arizona has been hit—one of the two or three hardest states—in Phoenix in particular—with housing, lack of conventions, tourism, lack of jobs,” Gordon explains.  “It’s time to stop talking about it, it’s time to move forward. There’s plenty of time for everybody to do politics afterwards. But right now, in Phoenix, we have a lot of people out of work. We have a lot of children that are now homeless with their moms and dads that shouldn’t be.”

    See how other American mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities

    Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint, Michigan
    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
    Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
    Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky
    Mayor Sly James of Kansas City

  • Vice President Biden on the American Jobs Act at the Alexandria Police Department

    Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the American Jobs Act at the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, VA, September 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Vice President Biden made a short hop across the Potomac yesterday to the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, Virginia where he delivered remarks on how the American Jobs Act would help keep police officers and first responders on the beat in northern Virginia and across the country.

    Alexandria is just one of thousands of communities where police forces have taken a hit due to budget cutbacks. Thanks to an $800,000 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant announced on Wednesday, the Alexandria Police Department will be able to put four out of nine of the officers they lost back on patrol. The American Jobs Act, as Vice President Biden said, would fund an additional $4 billion in COPS grants – like the one awarded to Alexandria – that would support the hiring, re-hiring and retention of officers in departments nationwide.

    Vice President Biden went on to describe cities like Flint, Michigan, where two thirds of the police force has been laid off in the last 3 years, and Cleveland, Ohio, where the police academy graduated a class of 100 officers – all of whom had to turn in their badge and gun right after graduation because there were no positions available.

    “We need to help these departments,” said the Vice President. “When you cut forces, and you cut them significantly, it not only diminishes public safety, it diminishes your ability to stay safe.”

  • Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President announced reforms to No Child Left Behind, traveled to California to hold a town hall on job growth at LinkedIn, spoke on what the American Jobs Act could mean for America's schools and gave his third annual Back To School address. 

  • As part of the Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste, OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) released guidance today to reduce wasteful duplication in federal contracting.  Too often in the past, agency spending for many commonly-used items was fragmented across multiple departments, programs, and components, which means that agencies often spent time writing hundreds of separate contracts, with pricing that varies widely.  The result is a waste of limited staff time and energy, and prices that are not as good as they should be. At a Cabinet meeting earlier this month, Vice President Biden pointed out that by leveraging their purchasing power agencies can save taxpayer dollars. He directed each agency leader to conduct a waste and efficiency review, targeting unnecessary or inefficient spending in areas like contracting. 

    OFPP’s new guidance will aid agencies in eliminating waste and carrying out the reviews ordered by the Vice President by addressing concerns, raised by GAO and others, that agencies may be unnecessarily duplicating each other’s contracting efforts. This guidance requires agencies to prepare ”business cases” - analyses to ensure they aren’t duplicating an existing contract and that they are getting the best value  for taxpayers- before they establish or renew certain interagency and agency-specific contracts for commonly-used goods and services, such as office supplies and wireless services. Doing this kind of due diligence and comparison-shopping is something that many families across the country do, and it is especially important that the Federal government weigh all the options before entering into large contracts and agreements whose scope would overlap contracts that already exist.  In the business case, agencies are required to balance the value of creating a new contract against the benefit of using an existing one, and whether the expected return from investment in the proposed contract is worth the taxpayer resources. Insisting on that cost/benefit analysis in the business cases should go a long way to avoiding duplicative contracts.

  • Kansas City Mayor Sly James can tell his city is in trouble by looking up at the sky. "There are no more cranes. When there are no more cranes in the city, that’s not a good sign. Because that means not much is getting done. The ripple effect of not being able to build has a huge impact on all sorts of other subsidiary industries. We have roads that are in need of repair and rebuilding, we have bridges that need work, we have water systems that are in desperate need of reworking. And we need the assistance of the Federal government in order to get those big-ticket items done."

    The American Job Act will help James answer the one question he says the residents of his Missouri city ask any time he leaves the office, “'Mayor, where can I get a job? Mayor can you help me get a job? Mayor can you help my brother or my mother get a job?”'Jobs are at the forefront of people’s minds."

    Watch Kansas City Mayor Sly James Support the American Jobs Act, here

    See how other mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities:

    Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint, Michigan
    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
    Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
    Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky
    Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona

  • At the 2010 RSA Conference, I issued a rallying call for the cybersecurity community to collectively evolve from previous static, compliance-based metrics programs to a more dynamic approach that utilizes continuous monitoring. Since then, we’ve seen the public and private sector respond with innovative approaches to this challenge. 

    In line with that call, recently the Office of Management and Budget released its reporting instructions for agencies under FISMA. In that memorandum, the federal government takes a significant step forward in our efforts to use continuous monitoring to more effectively and efficiently ensure the security of federal systems and networks:

    Rather than enforcing a static, three-year reauthorization process, agencies are expected to conduct ongoing authorizations of information systems through the implementation of continuous monitoring programs. Continuous monitoring programs thus fulfill the three year security reauthorization requirement, so a separate re-authorization process is not necessary.  

  • President Obama talked about a range of issues from immigration and education to Social Security and the American Jobs Act during a round table discussion with representatives from three of the largest Hispanic online outlets where he answered questions submitted by their audiences.  
    Jose Siade from Yahoo Español, Karine Medina from MSN Latino and Gabriel Lerner from AOL Latino and Huff-Post Latino Voices joined the President in the White House Map Room for an hour-long conversation  that centered on the issues that matter most to Hispanic Americans.
    Click on the questions below to go directly to President Obama’s answers and watch President Obama's Open for Questions Roundtable, here

    Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (486MB) | mp3 (47MB)

  • Today, President Obama delivered his third annual “Back to School” speech from Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C.

    The next generation of American leaders is hitting the books again, and the challenges they face today are greater than ever.  The quality of education they receive is central to our Nation’s future, as well as to producing the workforce needed to maintain American leadership in the next century.

    Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) today permeate the classroom, the home, the boardroom, manufacturing services, and even entertainment.  The information revolution, spawned by striking scientific and technological advances, has triggered profound social and economic changes throughout the world, resulting in an intensely competitive global marketplace, with prime job opportunities increasingly available only to those with technical and critical thinking skills.

    That’s one reason why the President’s American Jobs Act is so important. It promises to modernize at least 35,000 schools across the country by building new science labs and Internet-ready classrooms while preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs.

    The degree to which our Nation prospers in the 21st century will depend upon our abilities to develop scientific and technical talent in our youth, to provide lifelong learning to a well-educated workforce able to embrace the rapid pace of technological change, and to raise the level of public scientific and technological literacy.  Consider this fact:  the unemployment rate for college graduates is 4.3 percent.  That’s less than half of what it is for workers who only completed high school (9.6 percent) and a third of those who never finished high school (14.3 percent).

  • This oped by Arne Duncan was originally published in the Denver Post

    Imagine Steve Jobs trying to design the next generation of tablet computers using mainframe hardware from the Eisenhower administration. Or American automakers trying to out-engineer foreign competitors on an assembly line with equipment from the 1960s.

    Unfortunately, just such antiquated facilities and barriers to innovation exist today in precisely the institutions that can least afford it: our nation's public schools. The digital age has now penetrated virtually every nook of American life, with the exception of many public schools.

    The average public school building in the United States is more than 40 years old. Nationwide, cash-strapped school districts face an enormous $270 billion backlog of deferred maintenance and repairs.

    On Tuesday, President Obama spoke at Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver about the need to urgently modernize public schools, and the importance of keeping teachers in the classroom, instead of in unemployment lines.

    In the American Jobs Act, President Obama proposes to invest $30 billion to repair and modernize public schools and community colleges, putting hundreds of thousands of unemployed construction workers, engineers, boiler repairmen, and electrical workers back to work. He proposed an additional $30 billion to keep hundreds of thousands of educators facing potential layoffs and furloughs on the job.

  • President Barack Obama with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School Speech

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Sept. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This afternoon, students from across the country tuned in as President Obama addressed them directly in his third annual Back-to-School speech. The President encouraged America's students to use their time in school to try new things, discover new passions and hone their skills to prepare themselves for the kind of profession they want in the future:

    It starts, obviously, with being the best student that you can be. Now, that doesn’t always mean that you have to have a perfect score on every assignment.  It doesn’t mean that you’ve got to get straight As all the time -- although that’s not a bad goal to have.  It means that you have to stay at it.  You have to be determined and you have to persevere.  It means you’ve got to work as hard as you know how to work.  And it means that you’ve got to take some risks once in a while.  You can’t avoid the class that you think might be hard because you’re worried about getting the best grade if that’s a subject that you think you need to prepare you for your future...

    And that’s why when you’re still a student you can explore a wide range of possibilities.  One hour you can be an artist; the next, an author; the next, a scientist, or a historian, or a carpenter.  This is the time where you can try out new interests and test new ideas.  And the more you do, the sooner you’ll figure out what makes you come alive, what stirs you, what makes you excited -- the career that you want to pursue. 

  • On October 13, 2011, President Obama will host President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea at the White House for a State Visit. This State Visit will highlight the strong alliance, global partnership, and deep economic ties between our two countries, and celebrate the strong bonds of friendship between the American and Korean people.

    The Visit begins with an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, a tradition that started during the Kennedy Administration to formally welcome a visiting head of state. We’re excited to announce that the arrival ceremony for the Republic of Korea, one of the most wired nations in the world, will mark our largest White House Tweetup yet.

    The Republic of Korea is on the cutting edge of digital technology. Its citizens are active users of social media and the Blue House, the Republic of Korea’s Presidential office and residence, utilizes social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as mobile technology for public outreach. The White House invites its followers on Twitter and Facebook to attend the arrival ceremony.

    Apply to attend this special White House Tweetup today!

    Be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on Twitter and/ or “Like” us on facebook. Then, apply for your chance to attend the arrival ceremony at

    View photo galleries of past State Visits.


  • Tens of millions of Americans are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, including the parents of children with preexisting conditions, women getting mammograms with no out-of-pocket cost, seniors saving hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs, and one million young adults now newly insured through their parent’s plan. And the law also tackles costs, requiring insurance companies to justify their plans to raise premiums and give consumers a rebate if they spend too much of your premium dollar on overhead instead of health care. But even as millions enjoy the benefits of reform, opponents continue to try and give control back to the insurance companies by challenging the law in court.

    There has been no shortage of lawsuits regarding the Affordable Care Act. Of course, whenever our nation is undertaking fundamental reform, legal challenges like this are nothing new. Just as challenges to the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act all failed, challenges to health reform are failing as well. The Administration has already prevailed in cases heard in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

    Unfortunately the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility provision. We strongly disagree with their decision and today, the Obama Administration will ask the Supreme Court to hear this case, so that we can put these challenges to rest and continue moving forward implementing the law to lower the cost of health care and make it more secure for all Americans.  We hope the Supreme Court takes up the case and we are confident we will win. Here’s why: 

    • The Affordable Care Act, through the individual responsibility requirement, will require everyone, if they can afford it, to carry some form of health insurance since everyone at some point in time participates in the health care system, and incur costs that must be paid for. For the 83% of Americans who have coverage and who are already taking responsibility for their health care, their insurance premiums will decrease over time.  Only those who are able to pay for health insurance will be responsible for obtaining it and new tax credits and other provisions in the law will make health insurance affordable for middle class families. That’s why the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016.  
    • Opponents of reform wrongly claim that Congress exceeded its authority in regulating when and how people pay for health care. Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. People who make a decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market.  Their action is not felt by themselves alone.  Instead, when they become ill or injured and cannot pay their bills, their costs are shifted to others. Those costs – $43 billion in 2008 alone – are borne by doctors, hospitals, insured individuals, taxpayers and small businesses throughout the nation. 
    • Additionally, banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions helps to ensure that every American who can afford it has insurance.  We don’t let people wait until after they’ve been in a car accident to apply for auto insurance and get reimbursed, and we don’t want to do that with health care.  If we’re going to outlaw discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, people should not be allowed to game the system and raise costs on everyone else.   

    We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.  We are confident the Supreme Court will agree.

  • Ed. Note: Cross-posted with the Fast Lane

    Since President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act a few weeks ago, Secretary LaHood has been an outspoken advocate for its passage, and with good reason.

    On Monday, for example, Brian Lombardozzi, a senior policy analyst with the BlueGreen Alliance, joined me to discuss the importance of investing in job-creating transit projects.  And yesterday, I had the chance to extend that conversation at a conference called "Building the Future: New York State Transit Manufacturing Conference."

    This extended discussion fits President Obama and Secretary LaHood's message perfectly because transit investments create jobs and opportunities.

    Transit literally connects people with opportunities.  It connects them to jobs, to school, to the grocery store. It connects customers to businesses.  For many Americans and American businesses, it’s an absolute lifeline.

    But in many places, that lifeline is crumbling.  If we're going to be honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that our major transit systems were built and paid for by our parents and grandparents.  The American Jobs Act would provide $9 billion for thousands of jobs repairing bus and rail transit systems.  Once Congress passes the Act, that money will go out quickly and easily into the economy, creating jobs and helping get our transit systems up to speed.

    Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari

    As I told conference-goers yesterday, the same outcome holds true for American Jobs Act investments in roads, runways, and rail.


  • The Sherman Minton Bridge on Interstate 64 in Louisville, Kentucky has been closed for more than three weeks because of an emergency repair situation. Louisville's mayor, Greg Fischer, calls that situation "Exhibit A" for why America needs to be investing in our infrastructure now, and why he supports President Obama's American Jobs Act:

    There’s a real sense of urgency right now. A lot of people have been out of work for a long period of time. Their savings are gone or practically gone. So they see where they thought they were going to be fitting in the American dream, and saying, “that may not happen to me anymore right now.” And so there’s this feeling of hopelessness that we’ve got to address, we can’t wait until the next election cycle. This is something the American people need today.

    Watch Louisville Mayor Greg Fishcer Support the American Jobs Act, here.

    See how other mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities:

    Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint, Michigan
    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
    Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
    Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mayor Sly James of Kansas City
    Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona